How to Raise Money for Your Youth Sports Teams Without Annoying Your Friends (Again)

Youth teams need money for things like uniforms, tournament fees, etc. But simply asking friends for cash can quickly get awkward. Here's what to do instead.

Raising funds for your youth sports team can be a real drag. No one likes to bother friends and family, begging them to basically donate money under the guise of buying (typically overpriced) merchandise to support your kid's team. And if you have more than one kid, or a kid who plays multiple sports per year, the fundraising grind never seems to stop. But for parents and coaches, fundraising is a necessary evil to help pay for tournament fees, equipment, uniforms, travel, etc.

Tired of creating posts on Facebook asking your friends and family to buy magazines, coupon books, cookies, or even a mattress? If you dread approaching friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and strangers with yet another plea to support your latest fundraising drive, try these 6 great alternatives to traditional youth sports fundraising.

1. Sell Donuts and Coffee During Early Games

How it works: Stock up on large amounts of coffee from your local coffee and donut shop. Most coffee shops sell large sizes to go. Resell your coffee at early morning tournaments and games and pocket the profit to support your team's fundraising efforts. Have you've seen how many parents are holding coffee cups at an 8 a.m. soccer match? Let everyone know ahead of time and save parents 20 minutes in line at the coffee shop. They won't mind the extra cost for the convenience you're providing, and they'll feel good supporting the squad.

2. Rent a Food Truck For a Tournament

How it works: Youth athletes eat—a lot! Do your research and rent a food truck for your next event or tournament. Many food trucks allow a portion of the sales to be donated back to the team. Just make sure the details are outlined in the contract to be sure your team is getting a cut.

3. Parents Night Out

How it works: A parents night out fundraiser could be anything from a bowling night to a pub crawl. Rent space at a local bar or restaurant for the night. Negotiate with the restaurant to have a percentage of proceeds go to your team. Include a 50/50 raffle and silent auction—be creative, have fun! Earn bonus points with moms if you can get an area for babysitters to look after your athletes' younger siblings during the event.

4. Restaurant Team Fundraising Nights

How it works: The restaurant gives your team a percentage of the sales on a designated night for all the customers that your team brings to their business. Tons of national chains participate such as Chipotle, California Pizza Kitchen, Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's. Many local mom-and-pop restaurants also jump at the chance to participate in these events and support the community.

5. Team Garage Sale

How it works: Who doesn't love a good garage sale? Pick a location and have each team member and their families donate items to be sold. Use the profits for the team. Don't forget to check with your local city for permits. Bonus: Sell coffee and donuts at the garage sale.

6. FlipGive

Save a lot of time and energy and sign up for a FlipGive account. FlipGive is a great tool that allows you to raise money for your team through shopping you do every day.

How it works: Create a free team page and earn cash back every time someone shops from over 400 merchants available on the site. Shop your favorite brands such as Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Dick's Sporting Goods and tons more. There are no fees to use FlipGive, and you can withdraw your funds at any time.

FlipGive is a great option because it allows your team to earn money from people buying products they would ordinarily buy anyway. No need to bug Grandma or your coworkers for yet another fundraiser! No overpriced popcorn or cookies here! Simply invite people to browse the available retailers and let them shop away, being sure to let them know that every purchase they make goes to directly support your youth sports team.

Photo Credit: Jimak/iStock, martinedoucet/iStock, CLFortin/iStock, JackF/iStock, fstop123/iStock, AndreyPopov/iStock


Topics: YOUTH SPORTS | FLIPGIVE